From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage—
Today’s meeting of the state personnel board offered no shortage of melodrama, with board member Al Tamagni telling Andree McLeod to “just keep bitching” and threatening to sue her.
It started after McLeod, who has had her ethics complaints against Sarah Palin dismissed by the personnel board, tore into the board during the time set aside for the public to speak.
“For anyone to even criticize a person like myself who wants to file complaints and does so and then call me a serial complainer and then complain about the cost? What is the cost of corruption? What is the cost of the culture of corruption that you are now complicit in, of the Palin/Parnell administration. Can you answer that Al?” McLeod told the board.
McLeod went on, declaring that the board is a joke and is dedicated to defending public officials rather than serving the public. Tamagni broke in at one point, saying “just keep bitching, Andree.”
He later told McLeod that “it appears like you have a personal vendetta.”
“How dare you, how dare you, Al.” McLeod angrily responded. “How dare you. For the personnel board to even say that, a personnel board member.”
Board chair Debra English then threatened to call security (she didn’t), saying McLeod was not acting professionally.
"How offensive, Debra, this is offensive, how offensive you are,” McLeod said at the threat to call security. “The culture of corruption continues.”
Tamagni said the board has represented the general public, followed the law and that “we spent a lot of taxpayer money, probably a little over a third of a million dollars or more. So I think we also have a responsibility to the taxpayers of this state.”
He told McLeod she doesn’t represent the majority of the people in the state and needs to think about what she’s doing to the public. McLeod said she’s keeping government accountable and common sense shows that Palin’s personal interests were being kept above the state’s interests. “And it’s still going on by you guys defending it. That’s a culture of corruption. Do not impugn my motive, Al, you know me better than that.”
Tamagni: “Don’t you impugn, infer, that I’m a corrupt individual. Because that’s exactly what you’ve just done.”
McLeod: “As a body.”
Tamagni: “No, you referred to me personally…you’d better retract that because there’s complaints that could be filed against you too.”
McLeod: “For what?”
Tamagni: “Civil…civil cases. You just said I was corrupt.”
They went back and forth for a bit.
“A board member has now threatened me,” McLeod said.
Tamagni said it was not a threat, and he was simply advising her that “when you call me corrupt, for the record, that is defamation of character.”
McLeod: “Have at it.”
Tamagni: “Who knows? You think I’m afraid, I’m scared?”
(Later in the meeting, the personnel board denied appeals -- including by McLeod -- of dismissed ethics complaints. But English concurred with McLeod that a report dismissing one of her complaints should not have been forwarded to Mike Nizich, who was chief of staff for Palin and now Gov. Sean Parnell.)